"I have a dream."
"Four score and seven years ago."
What if a commencement speech was not something to be endured, but to be treasured? And what if, instead of the same tired sentiments to "go forward and seize the day," the 20-minute address dispensed a glimpse of humanity's higher self?
Thankfully, some of those exist. But it's not all rainbows and butterflies. Many memorable speeches have a touch of the macabre that foreshadow the underbelly of adulthood.
After reading dozens of transcripts and viewing hours of footage, we've distilled 10 famous commencement speeches to their essence. Some speeches are memorable because of their time in history or because millions watched it online. Some were later published as books. At least one became a hit song. Here they are, in chronological order.